Spin - p.923 stars out of 5
-- "[T]hey tread fretfully toward maturity and make it seem like walking into the light."
Alternative Press - p.1563 stars out of 5
-- "With the band revisiting the fundamental idea of being a power trio, songs are re-focused to accommodate live performance....Kicking off with the supremely infectious 'Calling All Skeletons' followed by the sunny, hook-filled single 'Help Me'..."
Kerrang (Magazine) - p.48
"[With] huge hooks, gloomy themes and the overriding sense of urgency and desperation that Alkaline Trio have always done so exquisitely..."
Kerrang (Magazine) - p.62Ranked #10
in Kerrang's Best Albums Of The Year 2008 -- "[S]o long as Skiba never lightens up, Alkaline Trio will remain the masters of the dark, punk rock schadenfreude."
Q (Magazine) - p.1353 stars out of 5
-- "Six albums in, Matt Skiba's bitter lyrics still have an impressive sting..."
Alkaline Trio: Matt Skiba (vocals, guitar); Daniel Andriano (vocals, bass guitar); Derek Grant (drums).
Personnel: Oliver Goldstein (keyboards).
Audio Mixer: Ryan Williams .
Recording information: Big Sound Studios, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia; Crystal Canyon, Oslo, Norway; Pulse Lake Recording Studio, Silverlake, CA.
Photographer: Myriam Santos-Kayda.
Reader: Douglas P.
Issued three years after Alkaline Trio's well-received CRIMSON, 2008's AGONY & IRONY finds the Chicago-based ensemble continuing to work in its signature brooding punk-pop vein. Despite the skull on AGONY's cover, however, the album isn't as blatantly goth-oriented as CRIMSON, leaving room for vocalist/guitarist Matt Skiba to display a wider range of emotions, as heard on the sensitive-yet-punchy single "Help Me" and the cheeky "Love Love, Kiss Kiss." Other highlights of the record include the catchy opener, "Calling All Skeletons," and the dynamic break-up tune, "Over and Out," songs that reinforce Alkaline Trio's status as one of the most respected acts in the overcrowded punk-pop field.